ABS-CBN mobile targets 3M subscribers this year

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MOBILE virtual network operator ABS-CBNmobile, a partnership between the Lopez family and Ayala-led Globe Telecom Inc., said it is targeting to increase its subscriber base to 3 million this year to break even.

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“We have quite a challenging year this year. Our goal is to bring it up to about 3 million customers,” Carlo Katigbak, head of ABS-CBN Access, told reporters.

At present, ABS-CBNmobile has about 1.1 million mobile subscribers. Earlier, the company had projected it would break even when its subscribers reached to 2 million, but now it has raised its target to about 3 million subscribers to reach break-even level because average revenue per user (ARPU) has declined.

“We were also targeting higher a ARPU before, so given the reality now, ARPU is lower this time. [But] it’s going up, slowly,” Katigbak added.

When asked if they had a plan to offer free internet service like rivals Smart Telecommunications Inc. and Sun Cellular have done, Katigbak said they had no such plans.

“Obviously it’s a very attractive offer, but I don’t think it’s something that can go on forever. You can never build your business on free services, I think,” Katigbak said.

In May 2013, ABS-CBN Convergence signed a network sharing agreement with Globe Telecom. Under their agreement, Globe will provide the mobile platform through which ABS-CBN can deliver its media content. Both parties may also share assets such as switches, servers and towers.

ABS-CBNmobile is operated by ABS-CBN Convergence, the mobile telecom unit of ABS-CBN Corp. ABS-CBN bought capacity from Globe for its mobile services under a five-year contract.

ABS-CBN Convergence invested about P3 billion to roll out its mobile services.

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